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Tacx i-Flow Multiplayer Trainer

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Item # TAC0008

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Item # TAC0008

Description

Your passport to the world's greatest rides.

If you're like us, the doldrums of indoor training quickly take hold, often far too early in the season. In a short matter of time, your playlists begin to lack motivation, podcasts become annoying background banter, and your favorite show becomes one of your most despised. In other words, your training begins to work against your morale. Luckily, Tacx had enough of this very scenario, and accordingly, developed a pairing of a sophisticated virtual reality training software with a truly professional level trainer -- the i-Flow Multiplayer Trainer. So, when the mercury drops, you're able to race your friends in the Pyrenees, not watch reruns while you slug away on the trainer.

Tacx constructed the i-Flow's frame from aluminum, effectively making it both sturdy and lightweight. More importantly, though, when this material is coupled with the Flow's maneuverable VR steering frame design, it provides a bit of rebound in response to your efforts. Accordingly, this creates a more realistic ride characteristic than your standard, folding trainer. Even better, the frame's steering capabilities create seamless, interactive experience with the virtual game element of the i-Flow. In fact, your steering movements are immediately recognizable within the game environment, providing realistic attacks and bike handling.

And while the Flow is a bit of a marvel in terms of its industrial design, its functionality remains far more impressive. With the Flow, Tacx grants you access to your heart rate readings, power output, speed, and pedaling frequency. In more precise terms, your power is readable from 10 to 990 watts, and in readings of current, average, and maximum power. Likewise, your speed is capable of being read in categories of current, stop watch, trip distance, maximum, and average speed. And in terms of cadence, the Flow is capable of providing current, average, maximum, and total revolution readings per session. But, you're probably wondering where this information is displayed? Well, it's actually displayed on a beautifully designed onboard computer. This computer mounts over the faceplate of your stem with two points of attachment. It's easy to navigate through, and it transmits your metrics directly to your home computer.

Once you get riding, the Flow allows you to adjust your workout for both power and slope. The Flow operates off of an electro-brake system with six magnets and a 2kg flywheel. So, you're able to maintain a realistic resistance under the wheel. And speaking of resistance, the Flow features a maximum resistance of 800 watts -- more than enough to make efforts of climb feel like a climb. Additionally, the included Tacx Trainer software (basic edition) provides the resistance that you'd naturally experience from wind and incline resistance, as well as the feel of riding on paved roads, wood paths, grass, and even sand.

Now, for the aforementioned software, you gain immediate access to animated Virtual Reality terrains, as well as realistic films of integral races. This means that you're able to ride courses ranging from Liege-Bastogne-Liege to Col de Mente. And with a quick software license upgrade, you'll receive access to Tacx's multiplayer web racing. With it, you're able to race against Tacx riders from all over the world, on the most historic courses in cycling, all on the Tacx server.

The Tacx i-Flow Multiplayer Trainer is available in one color and in one size. It's adjustable in order to accommodate various wheel sizes, from 600 to 640mm and 690 to 710mm.

Tech Specs

Material:
[frame] alloy
Resistance:
adjustable
Foldable:
yes
Recommended Use:
training
Manufacturer Warranty:
1 year

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Here's what others have to say...

2 5

oh its not all that great

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

well it works fine for awhile then after about a year just when the warranty runs out, it goes to crap and your out $400 bucks for a replacement part. good luck if you purchase this.

3 5

steering type and wheel compatibale

Wanted to know what type of steering unit comes along with this trainer and also if does is compatible with 29er 12mm axles?

Responded on

This one doesn't include the steering unit, though I've found it to be a little uh...pointless. The trainer itself is brilliant, but the "steering unit" is nothing like actually cornering on a bike, and you may run into toe overlap issues as well. I'd recommend just using a standard training block with it.

what's the difference between the i-Flow...

what's the difference between the i-Flow and the Vortex? Do either of them allow steering in the VR program?

Responded on

Don't waste your time or money on the steering frame. It's not at all like riding. In my opinion, you are better off spending the money on the Real Life Videos. They are a much better experience than the VR rides. To some extent it depends on whether you want to train of just play.

Regarding the 29er, the wheel size should fit. The trainers can be assembled to accommodate a large range of wheel sizes. I don't know about the 12 mm axle. The trainer is designed to accept a supplied quick release with large ends. It would be easy to have adapters machined out of delrin to adapt the 12 mm axle. It may just be easier to get a standard quick release wheel for the bike when using it on the trainer. You will have to run a slick tire for best performance anyway. If you use a knobby, the trainer will be very noisy and will likely slip much more.

Also, using dirty tires causes premature roller wear. My wife and I had identical trainers for a few years. She used hers with a her regular road bike and tire. I had a dedicated trainer bike with a clean tire. The tire was the same make as hers. Over several years, and a few tires due to flats on the road, she wore a 1/16 groove in her roller. There was no discernible wear on my roller, just a slight polish. I also rode the trainer about 3 times as much and put out significantly more power.